I put my two cents in here back in May 2007--see above. While I was willing to subject my body to radiation (i.e., proton radiation), I ruled out seeds after extensive research. While many men have had great success with the seed implants, some men have also had unpleasant urinary problems after seed implants. The risk is that some of the seeds have to be implanted close to the uretha. For some men, this can result in subsequent constrictions of the uretha, including complete blockage which has to be treated. Before treatment, I feared potential urinary problems more than anything. I am acquainted with a nurse practictioner at a major cancer treatment center who assists with the seed implants. She told me that some of the patients do have subsequent urinary problems which have to be treated. I have not had any urinary problems associated with my proton radiation treatments completed nine months ago. It appears, based on research and direct contact with other patients treated with proton radiation, that they experience virtually no urinary problems after treatment; any urinary problems experienced during treatment are usually minor and disappear after treatment. In fact, while I never had any urinary problems before treatment, my urine flow seems even better now. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I did not opt for proton radiation solely because I felt it was the best treatment to avoid potential urinary problems. With my due diligence and medical consultations, I was able to conclude that my chance of a cure with proton radiation was just about
equivalent to any other form of treatment, with a smaller risk of potential negative side effects.
I only wish that we had more members here who have had treatments other than surgery so that they can get the word out to those needing help in selecting among too many treatment choices. Does that mean that those who did not elect surgery have had fewer side effects to deal with after treatment, and therefore don't need a forum like this? Perhaps so. I decided to participate here because I want to educate others about my journey with proton radiation and also to help other PCa patients no matter what treatment they select. When I first was diagnosed with PCa, I didn't know anything about proton radiation--it didn't seem to be in the main stream of PCa treatments. It was more difficult to find definitive research, statistics on the success of this treatment and to find others to network with who had this treatment. With a lot of digging I did eventually get all of the help and information I needed to make an informed decision that proton radiation was best for me. It seems that proton radiation treatments for PCa patients are now becoming more main stream, especially with many new proton treatments centers opening up around the U.S. Proton radiation treatment, which has been around for several decades on a smaller scale until recently, is used to treat many kinds of cancer.
Any treatment we select has potential downside risks. We just have to decide, based upon the known risks of any treatment, what we are willing to risk in relation to the peace of mind, potential for a cure and quality of life we are trying to achieve after treatment. The tough decision unfortunately is ours and ours alone!